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White Vinegar for Cleaning — 7 Genius White Vinegar Uses

Ask any cleaning expert, and they’ll tell you the same thing: Always have vinegar on hand for housekeeping. Not only is white vinegar an all-natural way to clean almost every area of your home, but an entire gallon of the stuff will also last you months—and only set you back about 3 bucks. “I love using vinegar for house cleaning,” says Kadi Dulude of Wizard of Homes. “I know it takes time to get used to the smell, but it’s really affordable, healthy, and effective.”

To help you keep your home fresh and clean on the cheap, we asked Dulude to share some savvy white vinegar cleaning solutions. From surface sprays to drain deodorizers, here are seven hacks that use vinegar to replace your other cleaners—and save some serious moolah. 

Distilled White Vinegar, 1 Gallon at AmazonDistilled White Vinegar, 1 Gallon$4.49AmazonBuy Now1. Get shiny clean surfaces.

A little vinegar goes a long way when wiping down the surfaces of your home. Dulude says you can get your surfaces—like some countertops and tabletops—sparkly clean by simply spraying the surfaces with vinegar.

“I pour it directly in my spray bottle and use it to clean absolutely all surfaces of my home, floor to ceiling,” Dulude says. “I don’t dilute it, but you can definitely go with 50/50 water-vinegar mix if the smell is too strong.” Some surfaces you shouldn’t clean with vinegar? Natural stone like granite—the acid in the vinegar can wear away granite’s protective sealant.

Post ImageSavePin ItSee More ImagesCredit: Joe Lingeman2. Clear out your coffee maker. 

Believe it or not, Dulude says you can use vinegar to deep clean the gunk and buildup out of your automatic coffee maker. “Pour vinegar directly into your coffee machine and run it once,” she says. “Follow up by running nothing but water through it a few times until it runs clean and the vinegar smell is gone.” 

3. Wipe down your windows.

According to Dulude, few things get dirt and grime off your windows faster than good old-fashioned vinegar. “Pure vinegar (no essential oils) is hands-down the best window cleaner,” she says. Just add one part hot water if you want to keep the vinegary smell at bay.

Pouring white vinegar into a bowl to clean a televisionSavePin ItSee More ImagesCredit: Cat Meschia/Kitchn4. Eliminate bad odors. 

Dulude says nothing gets bad odors out of the stuff in your home as effectively as vinegar, it just takes a little effort. “Vinegar can even remove the odor from a smoker’s home,” she says. “Wash every possible surface in your space with pure vinegar and spray it on couches and rugs, too. Also, leave bowls of vinegar sitting out (to help take in more bad smells). Yes, it will smell strongly like vinegar at first, but once that goes, it will take all the bad odors with it.” 

Post ImageSavePin ItSee More ImagesCredit: Joe Lingeman5. Get your dishes extra clean.

If your regular dishwashing soap isn’t getting your dishes as clean as you’d hoped, Dulude says to throw some vinegar into the mix to act as a rinse aid. “To get sparkling dishes, use dish soap as normal and add about two cups of vinegar to the bottom of your dishwasher,” she says. 

6. Unclog and deodorize a drain.

Why waste money on pricey drain cleaners when vinegar can get the job done for cheap? “Pour baking soda into a drain and then add a cup of vinegar until it bubbles up,” Dulude says. That physical reaction might just be enough to dislodge some deep-down stuck-on gunk. Follow up your fizz by flushing the drain with super hot water. “If that’s not enough, you can stick a bent-up wire hanger into the drain to pull up whatever is still clogging things up,” she says.

7.  Make your home smell good.

If you can’t stand the smell of vinegar, Dulude has just the trick for you. “Sometimes I add a few drops of essential oil, just to change things up a bit,” she says. “Or, when we’ve bought oranges, we collect all the peels in a large jar, pour vinegar over it, let the mixture sit for a week, and then use that nice bright yellow vinegar-orange mix to clean our home. It makes everything smell like oranges while cleaning.”

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